John, Jesus, and History, Volume 1: Critical Appraisals of Critical Views

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Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, Tom Thatcher
Society of Biblical Lit, 2007 - Religion - 346 pages

Over the last two centuries, many scholars have considered the Gospel of John off-limits for all quests for the historical Jesus. That stance, however, creates a new set of problems that need to be addressed thoughtfully. The essays in this book, reflecting the ongoing deliberations of an international group of Johannine and Jesus scholars, critically assess two primary assumptions of the prevalent view: the dehistoricization of John and the de-Johannification of Jesus. The approaches taken here are diverse, including cognitive-critical developments of Johannine memory, distinctive characteristics of the Johannine witness, new historicism, Johannine-Synoptic relations, and fresh analyses of Johannine traditional development. In addition to offering state-of-the-art reviews of Johannine studies and Jesus studies, this volume draws together an emerging consensus that sees the Gospel of John as an autonomous tradition with its own perspective, in dialogue with other traditions. Through this challenging of critical and traditional assumptions alike, new approaches to John’s age-old riddles emerge, and the ground is cleared for new and creative ways forward.


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Critical Views of John Jesus and History
Introductory Matters
The John Jesus and History Project
Why This Study Is Needed and Why It Is Needed Now
Reviews of the Literature How Did John Become the Spiritual Gospel?
The Dehistoricizing of the Gospel of John
How Johnthe Theologian Writes History
The Revisionist Contribution of SomeNineteenthCentury German Scholarship
Johns Literary Unityand the Problem of Historicity
The Transformation of Memory in the Interface of Historyand Theology in John
Ways Forward A Case Study
The Historical Jesus the Scene in the Temple and the Gospel of John
On DealBreakers and Disturbances
Concluding Matters
Assessments and Convergences
Where Do We Go from Here?

The Twentieth Century and Beyond
The Challenge of the Balkanizationof Johannine Studies
Disciplinary Approaches to the Issues Grinding New Lenses and Gaining New Insights
A Source for Jesus Research?
Johannine Truth Claims and Historicity
Friends or Foes?

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About the author (2007)

Paul N. Anderson is Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies at George Fox University. He is the author of The Christology of the Fourth Gospel (Trinity Press International) and The Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus (T&T Clark). Felix Just, S.J., is an Associate Director of the Loyola Institute for Spirituality in Orange, California. Author of numerous reviews and essays, he is the creator of the Johannine Literature website ( and a manager of the Johannine Literature listserve. Tom Thatcher is Professor of New Testament at Cincinnati Christian University. He is the author or editor of numerous books and articles, including Jesus in Johannine Tradition (Westminster John Knox), The Riddles of Jesus in John: A Study in Tradition and Folklore, and New Currents through John: A Global Perspective (both from the Society of Biblical Literature).